Flash Fiction Challenge: Making A Sandwich

Last week’s challenge — “The Unlikable Protagonist” — filled up with some of my favorite entries to date. Go and read the stories from that challenge — you’ll find them interesting, I suspect.

Yesterday, I interviewed author James R. Tuck and Tuck said something that stuck with me:

“You can write a whole page on a character making a sandwich and if you do it right it will be gripping and compelling. Have your character make a banana and mayonnaise sandwich while they discuss killing someone, or divorcing their husband, or sleeping with their girlfriend for the first time. You can turn that sandwich into a load of character detail.”

And I thought, well, shit, that’s true.

Every scene has to be infused with drama and conflict — you have to make every moment count, even if it’s just a guy making a sandwich or a girl squatting out in a field during a long road trip to take a piss.

Then I thought — hey, this should be a flash fiction challenge.

And so it is.

You have up to 1000 words to write a story — not a scene, but a story — where a character makes a sandwich. Any kind of character, any kind of sandwich, but the point is to infuse this seemingly mundane act with the magic story-stuff of drama and conflict. Make it the most interesting “person-making-a-sandwich” story you can possibly make it. It needs to grip the testicles. It must twist the nipples. It must not let go.

That’s your task.

Same details apply: you’ve got one week (ends 2/24 at noon EST). Post story at your blog or webspace and link back here so we can all swing by and have a little looky-see.

Now get cracking.

Make that sandwich. Write that story.

77 comments

  • Call me crazy, but I’m all about taking inspiration wherever I can and running with it, so my “sandwich flash” is turning into a bona-fide short fiction piece. 1k be damned, I don’t mind failing this challenge since it, surprisingly, planted the seed for a longer story. Thanks Chuck for the unexpected muse.

  • I found out about this challenge after noon on the 24th, so mine isn’t an official entry. I enjoyed what sprang forth, and thought I would comment here, and give you the credit, because this was a lot of fun! And fun was very welcome this week- my husband was in a serious motorcycle accident on Sunday night, and has been in the hospital since. Thank you for the amusement and inspiration!

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